Triple A Program

Triple A (Adolescent Asthma Action) is the 1st peer-led education program to improve the health and wellbeing of students with asthma. By using an innovative student-centred approach, students become the drivers of both the teaching and learning processes. Using hands-on activities, videos and games, the program is informative and participatory with an element of fun being central to all aspects of learning.

Triple A is an evidence-based, peer education program that aims to:
- Improve asthma self-management of adolescents from disadvantaged and Aboriginal backgrounds.
- Promote the resilience of high school students to resist peer pressure to smoke.
- Improve the educational outcomes of high school students.
- Enable adolescents to promote smoke free messages to their family.

The success of this program has been demonstrated over the last 20 years and has reached more than 500 university students and 20,000 high school students. In 2011 and 2012, supported by the University of Sydney, the Asthma Foundation of NSW and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, the program was provided to University of Sydney medical and pharmacy students and delivered to schools Western Sydney with high numbers of disadvantaged and Aboriginal students.

Triple A is a collaberative project between the University of Sydney, high schools in Western Sydney and Sydney West Local Health District.

Triple A involves a three-step process:

Triple A Peer Leaders

Triple A Peer Leaders doing the 'Smoke-Free Pledge'

Step 1: Triple A Educators (trained University of Sydney students) train volunteer Year 10 students to be Triple A Peer Leaders for the program, during a one-day workshop. The Peer Leaders acquire skills in group facilitation and leadership.

Step 2: Peer leaders deliver four lessons to Year 7 students using the peer leader’s manual as a guide. Students learn about asthma and self-management through videos, games and activities.

Step 3: Wider dissemination of Triple A messages occurs when students from the Year 7 classes relay what they have learnt to members of the school community, through creative performances.